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All of STRANGER THINGS’ Visual References Explained

It’s not easy to create something that is equal parts original and a nostalgic homage to an entire era of filmmaking, and yet Netflix’s buzzy Stranger Things has done just that. Exploding onto the scene—and taking hold of our brainwaves like Eleven or something—earlier this month, the much-discussed series made a name for itself by cozily paying homage to the films with which so many of us have grown up. But even if these references and hat-tips felt slightly familiar, you may not have realized just how many visual cues Stranger Things took from those films…until now.

Director and Vimeo user Ulysse Thevenon laid out Stranger Things‘ nostalgic vibes side-by-side with its predecessors, like Alien, E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Goonies, Firestarter, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Stand By Me, Carrie, The Shining, and many more.

But don’t just take our word for it; watch the video right here, right now:

Now, there are a few references that this one seems to be missing—some folks online have mentioned The Lost Boys, Rambo, and Cloak & Dagger as other instances—but it does an impressively good job at showing us exactly why the series’ familiarity with its heroes is so strong. Ultimately, the way Stranger Things deftly straddles a line between shot-for-shot recreation and nostalgia-laced homage is so well done, it still feels like something wholly unique. To call it an achievement is an understatement—which is to say nothing of their resurrection of Winona Ryder’s career (more of her in all of the things, please).

What do you think of the video? Are you as hooked on Stranger Things as we are? Let us know in the comments below!

Image: Netflix


Alicia Lutes is the Managing Editor of Nerdist and creator/co-host of Fangirling. Find her on Twitter, dreamcasting Winona Ryder in everything.

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